(BPT) - Nothing gets your day off to a better start than a tasty breakfast – but on most days, you’re too rushed and stressed to enjoy it. Thankfully, on weekends and holidays, it’s a whole different story. There’s time to relax, enjoy the company of family and friends and prepare and serve that best-loved of all leisurely meals: brunch.
A table full of delicious dishes that inspire conversation and interaction is an essential part of a truly great brunch experience. To encourage guests of all ages to linger around the table and enjoy the festive atmosphere, include a variety of options that will please all palates. Catherine McCord of Weelicious, a family-centric food blog and cookbook author, offers some of her favorite tips for putting together the ultimate brunch:
* Make brunch interactive and fun for kids. The more you get them involved, the more they’ll be interested in the food you serve. That can make it easier for everyone to enjoy the foods you've spent time preparing.
* “French Toast on a Stick” turns a brunch staple into something a bit more fun. Make French toast cubes using different types of bread such as brioche, French bread, croissants or even regular sandwich bread. There’s no need to worry that you don’t have a particular variety – they will all produce delectable results.
* Fill bowls with fresh fruits like sliced bananas, strawberries, pineapple and melon balls for kids to skewer.
* Keep health in mind. Wash all fruits – even organic varieties – carefully. Since eggs are always an essential element of brunch, opt for Safest Choice Eggs. These eggs go through an all-natural pasteurization process that eliminates the risk of salmonella, while still maintaining that farm-fresh flavor everyone loves. Safest Choice Eggs also let kids get in on the fun of preparation, while eliminating worries you might have about their getting sick.
* Put out an assortment of drinks for everyone to make non-alcoholic "kiddy" cocktails: sparkling water, orange, cranberry or grapefruit juice, lemonade, herbal iced tea and sliced fresh fruits are great options.
*Fill the buffet table with a mix-and-match assortment of glasses, plates, placemats, napkins and silverware. It will add visual appeal to the festivities and act as a conversation starter.
Sweet or savory, formal or relaxes, brunch is one of those meals that can do it all, and be whatever you want it to be. With these tips, and McCord’s recipe for ‘French Toast on a Stick’, you’ll be well on your way to organizing an easy, yet impressive, brunch that will brighten any day. For more ideas and recipes, visit www.safeeggs.com/recipes and www.weelicious.com.
French Toast on a Stick
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
1 cup milk (any kind of milk will work)
2 large Safest Choice Eggs
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups brioche, French or sandwich bread (cut into 2 inch cubes)
1 tablespoon butter or oil
16 strawberries, stems removed
2 bananas, sliced into 1/2 inch coins
8 wooden skewers
1. In a bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, honey and cinnamon.
2. Dip the bread cubes in the milk mixture to coat each side.
3. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat and cook the bread for 1 1/2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
4. Skewer the French toast cubes, strawberries and bananas and serve with maple syrup for dipping.
Accompaniments: maple syrup, honey or raspberry-wee sauce